Re: [DNSOP] Working Group Last Call for draft-ietf-dnsop-7706bis

Wes Hardaker <> Wed, 13 November 2019 23:49 UTC

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From: Wes Hardaker <>
To: Tim Wicinski <>
Cc: dnsop <>, dnsop-chairs <>
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Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2019 15:49:21 -0800
In-Reply-To: <> (Tim Wicinski's message of "Thu, 31 Oct 2019 11:48:24 -0400")
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Subject: Re: [DNSOP] Working Group Last Call for draft-ietf-dnsop-7706bis
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Tim Wicinski <> writes:

> This starts a Working Group Last Call for draft-ietf-dnsop-7706bis

Up front: as you know, I support this document fully being the driver
behind that's mentioned in the document.  That being
said, I do want to raise a few points/suggestions:

1. "... because negative answers are sometimes cached for a much shorter
   period of time."

   I'd like to suggest amending that with "time and because many queries
   received at the roots are for leaked or garbage strings as well as
   some many that are generated algorithmic by applications attempting
   to detect NXDOMAIN rewriting".  In particular, the vast vast majority
   of the junk is not from low negative caching, but from the fact that
   each queries are frequently different random garbage strings and the
   vast majority of those are generated by Chromium based products (and
   probably others at this point too).

2. The next paragraph talks about the benefits being weak for true
   responses, due to caching, but as the root becomes more and more flat
   as new gTLDs are added (with another round likely "soon"), this
   statement will become more and more false.

3. Though the document has "relaxed" the specification to not require a
   loopback address/interface, this is still functionally a no-op since
   it still requires only serving data from the localhost.  That's not
   really relaxing it much; it just means functionally the same thing
   with a slightly wider view of how to implement it.

4. In the second to last paragraph in the introduction, it might be
   worth adding 'Some resolver software supports being both an
   authoritative server and a resolver but separated by logical "views",
   allowing a local root to be implemented within a single process'.
   And you could even list the appendixes, where most of the example
   configuration actually makes use of this notion.

5. In section 3, there are broken sentences:

   "In a system that is using a local authoritative server for the root
   zone.  if the contents of the root zone cannot be refreshed before
   the expire time in the SOA, the local root server MUST return a
   SERVFAIL error response for all queries sent to it until the zone can
   be successfully be set up again."

   I think this is meant to be

   "In a system that is using a local authoritative server for the root
   zone, if the contents of the root zone cannot be refreshed before
   the expire time in the SOA, the local root server MUST return a
   SERVFAIL error response for all queries sent to it until the zone can
   be successfully be set up again."

6. regarding the next paragraph: "In a resolver that is using an
   internal service for the root zone.  if the contents of the root zone
   cannot be refreshed before the expire time in the SOA, the resolver
   MUST immediatly switch to using non-local root servers."

   You're prescribing implementation choices here, not the goal: the
   goal is to prevent resolvers from returning stale data (though....
   with serve-stale in effect too.......).  There are two immediately
   obvious choices for how to do this: 1) switch to non-local root
   service, as you state.  or 2) return SERVFAIL from the resolver.
   E.G., I'm not sure existing implementations, including the config in
   the appendix, follow this MUST.  To aggrevate this issue further: I'm
   not sure how a resolver would *know* that the data is stale from the
   local root it is querying (there are hints of this later, but I have
   issues with that too; see below).  Functionally, this text is
   mandating an architecture that is not likely implemented today and is
   not likely to be implemented in the future (I'm guessing, but happy
   to be proven wrong).

   Wouldn't it be better to state simply "Resolvers MUST NOT return
   stale data."  But again, I'm not sure how to implement that without
   requiring a very specific binding between the resolver and the local
   root server, which is rather special-case.  You have already
   prescribed that the local root server itself should return SERVFAIL
   and I think that's really all you need to, or can, prescribe.

7. In the last paragraph in 3, it requires the administrator to check
   whether or not the SOA is fresh and shows a potential mechanism for
   doing that. But, even that is subject to fail unfortunately.  Again,
   you're trying to get the resolver to be intelligent with data that it
   doesn't have access to.  That requirement should be put into the
   local root server instead, and again is covered by having it return
   SERVFAIL on out-of-compliance data.  The resolver half of the
   deployment can not test this easily, but the (potentially
   pseudo-)authoritative server can.  That's what the requirement should
   be aimed at.

8. The security considerations talk about limiting damage from broken
   deployments to "any other system that might try to rely on an altered
   copy of the root.".  I think, however, that the damage may be seen by
   any client that depends on the resolver making use of a local root
   server when the local root server becomes problematic.  IE, if the
   resolver is serving an enterprise and its localhost accessible local
   root has a problem, the entire enterprise will have a problem.

9. In appendix A, can you please add "" as a domain
   from which you can AXFR the zone too?  It's mentioned in the next

10. For A.1, second paragraph about LocalRoot, can you replace with the
    following text (assuming you agree with it):

    The LocalRoot project (<>) is a service
    that embodies many of the ideas in this document and is operated in
    cooperation with USC/ISI's root server.  It distributes the root
    zone by AXFR, but also offers DNS NOTIFY messages when the LocalRoot
    system sees that the root zone has changed, providing potentially
    faster updates to local root implementations.  It additionally
    provides secured AXFR transfers, which helps defeat issues with
    unsigned glue records being potentially modified in transit (see
    Section 2).

11. For B.1, example config for Bind 9.12 - why is this not bind 9.11 (too)?
    It's still a viable platform and is supported till 2021 Q4.

    (also, it would be worth adding to that and other
    similar configs as well)

12. For B.3 (bind 9.14 with mirror): it's worth adding a note that by
    using the mirror implementation you're actually using less upstreams
    because it won't include the ICANN xfr (or localroot) sources.

13. B.3 says "when it is released" referencing 9.14.  It was released
    early this year I believe.

Phew.  Sorry!  But I do hope these are helpful, and again: I certainly
support this document going forward.

Wes Hardaker